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The Stages of a Texas Divorce or Custody Case

Posted by John Millard | May 27, 2024 | 0 Comments

While each divorce or custody case is unique, most cases flow from start to finish according to six distinct “Stages.” A vital stage of the process is the negotiation stage. Mediation or Arbitration is an efficient and cost-effective way to resolve a contested family law dispute. We have extensive knowledge and years of judicial wisdom to help with you successfully resolve your family law dispute.

From Spy to Bye: Texas Family Code's Ban on Spousal Surveillance

Posted by John Millard | May 15, 2024 | 0 Comments

The enactment of HB 2715 has profound implications for family law practitioners and their clients. It necessitates a thorough understanding of the new provisions and their application in divorce and custody cases. For example, consider a scenario where a spouse hires a private investigator to gather evidence of infidelity. Previously, this might have been a common practice in family law litigation, but it now constitutes a violation under the new law. Family law practitioners must take care to advise clients about spousal surveillance's legal and ethical implications, emphasizing the potential consequences of violating criminal statutes.

How Long Does A Divorce Take?

Posted by John Millard | Apr 29, 2024 | 0 Comments

Other than "How much does a divorce cost?" the most common question we're asked is "How long will my divorce take?" Both questions are important, but as you can imagine, they're difficult to answer with absolute precision and certainty. Divorce is unpredictable, and you can't always control a case's direction. But we've been doing this long enough to have a reasonable idea of how long a "typical" divorce takes to conclude. Read on for more information about the various tasks that must be completed in a divorce and how long each may take...

What Will Happen to My Property?

Posted by John Millard | Feb 26, 2024 | 0 Comments

All divorces involve at least some division of property. The division can range from each party keeping the personal property in their possession to more complicated estates involving the division of multiple houses, parcels of land, businesses, brokerage and retirement accounts, and even assets like Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Regardless, clients frequently ask, “What's going to happen to my property?” and “How do I get all property I'm entitled to?” This article provides an overview of how Texas courts divide property and steps you can take now to help you get the property you deserve.

What Will Happen to My Home?

Posted by John Millard | Jan 29, 2024 | 0 Comments

As the saying goes, there's no place like home.  Your home is your castle. Your sanctuary. It's the one place on Earth where you can go to relax, rest, and feel safe. It's not surprising then how devastated you may feel if facing the prospect of having to move from or sell your home. Yes, home is where the heart is. But in a divorce, beyond the genuine emotional attachment, the community home is often a divorcing couple's single most significant financial asset.

The New Old Discovery Rules

Posted by John Millard | Oct 06, 2023 | 2 Comments

With an emphasis on Family Law cases, this post traces the evolution of the Texas Discovery Rules from the "Old Rules" of 1999 to the "New Rules" of 2020 and introduces the groundbreaking "New Old Rules" enacted in 2023. Dissecting the changes in the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, particularly NEW RULES 194a and 195a, this article will empower family law practitioners to navigate discovery effectively. Discover the key amendments, their implications, and the practical impact on Texas discovery procedures, ensuring you stay informed and prepared in this ever-changing legal landscape.

Preparation of Constructive Fraud and Reimbursement Claims in Mediation

Posted by Walter Armatys | Aug 14, 2023 | 0 Comments

Preparation is always the key to success in mediation. But when a case has more complicated issues, coming to mediation armed with relevant caselaw can tilt the scales in your favor. Explore how meticulous preparation shaped a recent mediation involving complex issues like constructive fraud and reimbursement claims. Let our judicial experience and expertise save you time, money, and stress with your next mediation.

Cracking the Code: A Guide to Discovering, Valuing, and Dividing Digital Assets in Divorce

Posted by John Millard | Aug 09, 2023 | 0 Comments

Discover the secrets behind hidden cryptocurrency assets in divorce cases. Explore the intricacies of tracing and addressing digital holdings, including popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Gain valuable insights into the distinctive characteristics of these digital assets, grasp the risks associated with asset concealment, and uncover the significance of engaging a mediator with expertise in both family law and digital currencies. Equip yourself with knowledge and assurance as you navigate the complex realm of hidden cryptocurrency assets. Access the complete article today and conquer the complexities of divorce proceedings involving digital holdings.

Can You Be Served with a Lawsuit by Email or Social Media? Unleash the Power of Electronic Service of Process in Texas!

Posted by John Millard | Jul 07, 2023 | 0 Comments

Discover the power of electronic service of process in Texas! This article explores how social media, email, and other technology can be used to serve legal notices in family law cases. With the court's authorization, you can now serve someone through their social media accounts or email address, making the process faster, more cost-effective, and more likely to reach the intended recipient. Learn about the requirements, evidence needed, and benefits of electronic service, as well as the potential pitfalls to avoid. Don't let the hassle of traditional service methods delay your case—embrace the digital age of service of process!

I Think My Spouse is Hiding Money. What Can I Do?

Posted by John Millard | Jun 02, 2023 | 0 Comments

Things haven't been going well. For months, you've suspected that your spouse is planning to divorce you. In today's mail, there's a statement from a bank you don't recognize. Your spouse has become secretive with their phone and computer. Lately, your spouse has been fascinated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. There are unexplained withdrawals or expenses from your financial accounts. You're in the dark about household finances. You're worried, and you need to protect yourself!

Keys to a Successful Mediation

Posted by Walter Armatys | May 30, 2023 | 0 Comments

What is essential before you can have a successful trial? Preparation!!! You would NEVER go into a contested trial if you were unprepared.  And you should never go into a mediation unprepared. You may think that you don’t need to “prepare” for a mediation, but you do!  I’ve found that if you prepare, you stand a better chance of saving your client thousands, if not TENS of thousands of dollars.  That alone should be impetus enough to prepare for mediation. 

Can Mediation be Ordered During an Appeal?

Posted by John Millard | May 24, 2023 | 0 Comments

Did you know mediation can be ordered during an appeal? In Texas, appellate courts have the authority to require parties to mediate, even while a case is under review. Discover the ins and outs of mediation during appeals in our latest blog post. Learn about the procedures, rules, and benefits mediation offers to all parties involved.

Should I Move Out of Our House?

Posted by John Millard | May 08, 2023 | 0 Comments

Should I Stay or Should I Go? It may be the title of a great song, but it's a tough question you may be forced to answer in a divorce. Ultimately, the answer depends on your goals, resources, and children's needs. Separating an emotional attachment to a home is difficult, but you have to approach the question the same way you would if it were strictly a business decision. That may sound cold and calculated after you've lived in a home a long time, created many memories, and raised children there. But unfortunately, in a divorce situation, it isn't practical to continue sharing a home with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.  

What Will Happen to My Children?

Posted by John Millard | Apr 03, 2023 | 0 Comments

Parents going through a divorce or custody dispute often ask, “What will happen to my children”? Of course, we all want what's best for our children, and hopefully, all strive to minimize the impact a divorce or custody dispute will have on the kids. But often, parents don't see eye to eye regarding what's best for the children. This article attempts to answer this critical question. Hopefully, it will help you better understand the legal process for custody disputes, whether an original suit like a divorce or a suit to modify an existing custody order.

Save the Date! Open House & Grand Opening!

Posted by John Millard | Mar 30, 2023 | 0 Comments

Exciting news! We're thrilled to announce an Open House to celebrate the Grand Opening of our family law mediation practice, Armatys Millard, PLLC. We'd love for you to join us to celebrate this milestone. Mark your calendars for April 27th and stay tuned for more details. Visit our website for more information. We're looking forward to seeing you soon!

I Don't Want a Divorce. Is There Anything I Can Do?

Posted by John Millard | Mar 07, 2023 | 0 Comments

In Texas, the sad reality is that if your spouse wants a divorce, they will get it. Texas is a “no-fault” state, meaning there is no requirement that fault grounds be proven to get a divorce. The only legal ground necessary is to show the marriage has become “insupportable.” In simple terms, if one spouse wants a divorce, they will get it. This does not mean that a divorce is automatically granted after filing a divorce petition. If the parties can agree to all of the terms for a divorce, including provisions for children, if any, and division of the parties' marital assets and debts, then the divorce can be granted relatively quickly (but only after a required 60-day waiting period has expired). But suppose the spouses disagree on any of these issues. In that case, the case is considered “contested.” Any disputed issues must be resolved either by agreement (after discovery and negotiation/mediation) or by a trial.  

NEW RULE: TRCP 21d - What You Need to Know About Electronic Court Appearances

Posted by John Millard | Jan 29, 2023 | 0 Comments

NEW RULE! Effective February 1, 2023, TRCP Rule 21d, "Appearances at Court Proceedings," is implemented and TRCP 21(b) is amended to change the terminology from "Service of Notice of Hearing" to "Service of Notice of Court Proceeding." This order requires notices to include information for participants to participate in proceedings, including location/instructions for electronic participation, the court's contact information, and evidence submission instructions. Courts must also publish information for participants to participate in proceedings.

Which Is Better: In-Person or Zoom Mediation?

Posted by John Millard | Jan 25, 2023 | 2 Comments

Are you considering mediation for your family law case? Can't decide between In-Person or Zoom mediation? We compare the pros and cons of each method in our latest blog post. In-person offers a more personal touch but Zoom offers location and scheduling flexibility. Learn more about which option may be best for your case on our website, and let us help you navigate the process.

Should You Designate a “Tiebreaker” to Resolve Disputes Over Parental Rights and Duties?

Posted by John Millard | Jan 24, 2023 | 0 Comments

It has become increasingly common for family law practitioners and mediators to designate a "tiebreaker" to make decisions about a child's education, health, and access to parents when the parents cannot agree. However, this practice may be unenforceable under a mediated settlement agreement if the appointed "tiebreaker" did not consent to the role. In the case of "In re A.C.P.C," a psychiatric clinic appointed as a tiebreaker in a mediated settlement agreement refused to serve as it could damage the doctor-patient relationship. This illustrates a potential problem with this type of agreement and lack of enforceability if the tiebreaker is not a party to the MSA.

I May Have to Go Through a Divorce. What Should I Do to Protect Myself?

Posted by John Millard | Jan 09, 2023 | 0 Comments

Divorce is never easy. It's an emotional and frightening time, even under the best of circumstances. But there are some things you can do now, before a suit is filed, to protect yourself and relieve the anxiety and stress you are feeling. A little preparation goes a long way should divorce become necessary or imminent. Here are some tips that may be helpful. And...don't forget to mediate!

Scheduling Mediation Just Got Easy!

Posted by John Millard | Jan 07, 2023 | 0 Comments

Try to get two busy lawyers' (and their clients) and a mediator's calendar to align, and you can end up in a dreaded twenty-email thread from hell. But scheduling mediation doesn't have to be a nightmare. At Armatys Millard, we let you schedule a date and time for your mediation that's convenient for you. 

Former Family Law Judges Open Mediation & Arbitration Firm

Posted by John Millard | Jan 04, 2023 | 0 Comments

Armatys Millard, PLLC, offers mediation and arbitration services for all types of family law cases, including divorce, custody, modification, and complex property disputes. Located in Historic Downtown Richmond near the Justice Center, our well-appointed offices provide a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere with high-speed wireless internet access and ample onsite parking.

Contact Us Today

If you need to mediate or arbitrate a divorce, custody dispute, or other family law issue, Armatys Millard has the experience, knowledge, and judicial wisdom to help.

Schedule online or call our office at 281-313-6800 to check availability and schedule Mediation or Arbitration with the Mediation Judges today!